As long as the wounds were protected by a connective tissue dressing against mechanical, chemical, and bacterial irritations, no evidence of cicatrization was found. The complete or partial failure of four experiments was due to the slipping of the inner dressing from the wound, mechanical irritation by the gauze, and infection. In the two experiments in which the connective tissue was maintained at the surface of the wound, there was no beginning of cicatrization, although 25 and 18 days respectively had elapsed since the operation, while in the control wound the duration of the latent period did not exceed 5 or 6 days. The experiments were interrupted after the second or third inspection, on account of the technical impossibility of again applying to the wounds a non-irritant dressing. It is probable that the wounds could have been kept for a much longer time in a condition of quiescence. While it is not known whether cicatrization could be prevented for an indefinite period, there is no doubt that the mechanism of regeneration is not set in motion at the usual time, when all external irritations are suppressed. It appears, therefore, that under ordinary conditions, cicatrization is not initiated by an internal factor.
On the contrary, the application of turpentine, chick embryo pulp, and staphylococci decreased markedly the length of the latent period, which was often reduced to less than 2 days. This fact demonstrated the importance of external factors in the initiation of cicatrization. It seems that the mechanism of regeneration has become adapted to the ordinary conditions of life of the animals. A small wound will begin to cicatrize sooner if slightly infected, as practically always happens, than if it were thoroughly protected by a non-irritant dressing.